History in Local Photos – 2000 and Today

Can you picture what our area was like twenty years ago, fifty years ago, a hundred years ago?

Hopewell 1909 cover

We actually have a good collection of photographs of important local scenes across the Hopewell Valley around the turn of the century (1900), from postcards and some local photographers, and because local boosters were creating publications to promote their towns (see the 1900 & 1914 Hopewell Herald Progress Editions and the 1897 and 1909 promotional booklets).

However, our collection of images into the middle and later 1900s is more happenstance – mostly various family photos and images of Memorial Day parades.

We are grateful for two local professional photographers – Ken Kaplowitz and Gary Saretzky – who thoughtfully catalogued the familiar places and people of Hopewell Borough from 1975 to 1980 with over 35 photos each.

Hopewell Borough photos by Gary Saretzky, 1978 – 1980

And think about the kinds of things that we are missing. We have minimal historical images of local trains or trolleys in use, and none of the busy interiors of the train stations. We have some photos of local industrial sites like mills or creameries or other factories – and again almost no interiors with images of the equipment. And we have portraits of buildings – churches, fire halls, stores, markets – but again almost nothing showing them in use inside.

Hopewell in 2000

As an example of capturing images of a time and place, Roger Labaw recently contributed another 19 photos taken around Hopewell Borough, in the year 2000. (Yes, we survived Y2K!)

Hopewell Boro photos by Roger Labaw, 2000

== See the Hopewell Photos by Roger Labaw in the Image Gallery ==

Much has stayed very familiar, including the school buses lined up at the Elementary School and the recycling cans – but you also can see the former Sunoco gas station at Hamilton and East Broad – with gas at $1.37 a gallon.

Former Sunoco station at East Broad and Hamilton in Hopewell [Roger Labaw, 2000]
Buses at the Hopewell Elementary School [Roger Labaw, 2000]

Hopewell History Map

Hopewell History Map

So what are we doing to capture similar images of our life today?

The Hopewell History Map now has current-day images of almost all the buildings and intersections in Hopewell Borough, linked to the street address and associated historical images.

Could we do the same for other towns and areas?

So do you have, or know of other collections of photographs that capture our towns and valley in photographs? Are there images of Hopewell and Pennington, Titusville and Mount Rose, Glenmoore and Harbourton, and across the Township that we can share and preserve?

Or would you like to go out and capture our life today, to share as future history?

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